Tuesday, November 24

Jeffrey: Why no tweet of federal flood aid for Sarawak?

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KOTA KINABALU: If the treatment of flood victims in Sabah and Sarawak is any test, then it is confirmed that Sabahans and Sarawakians are treated as step-children by the Prime Minister and the Malayan/Malaysian federal government.

“It also shows that Najib is only a prime minister for the Malays in the peninsula and not for the whole of Malaysia and his 1-Malaysia means only 1-Malaysia for Malays only,” said Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah chief, noting that the PM only tweeted his hope that Sarawak flood victims would persevere and pray that God would ease and relieve the flood victims there.

The treatment of Sabah and Sarawak flood victims is a sharp contrast to the treatment of the flood victims in the Peninsula.

In the peninsula, the PM not only announced that the flood victims were to be given RM500 flood aid by the federal government, but after visiting the flood-hit areas in his home state, the PM announced that the government would provide additional assistance to help lighten the burden of flood victims, other than the RM500.

During the floods in Sabah, the PM came for a wedding reception but failed to find the time to visit the flood-hit areas during his visit.

He came and went without even so much as saying a word about the flood situation in Sabah at that time, let alone announce any flood aid. This speaks volume of how much or rather how less the PM cares for Sabahans.

The PM’s tweet for God to help Sarawak flood victims is no less convincing that he cares less for Sarawakians.

Given the federal stand on preventing Christians from using the Allah word, one wonders which God is the PM referring to in seeking to pray for aid for the Sarawakians!

To rub salt into the wound, not only are victims in the peninsula given flood aid, farmers and fishermen were to be given further aid for their losses of crops, livestock and fish in cages.

The Minister of Agriculture even announced that the aid would be given within two weeks.

In Sabah and Sarawak, hundreds of villages were inundated during the floods.

Did the PM and the Minister of Agriculture not think that the floods in Sabah and Sarawak had also destroyed many crops, livestock and fish in cages in addition to destruction of homes and caused other untold losses?

Flood victims in Sarawak at least had the support and assistance of the Chief Minister and his band of merry
ministers who were on the ground attending to the flood victims and ensuring food and other aid from the state agencies reached the victims.

Unfortunately for Sabahans, the state government were doing the disappearing act with absentee ministers nowhere to be seen near the flood-hit areas.

Perhaps, the difference between the Sabah and Sarawak governments could be the attitude of their leader, the Chief Minister.

Or, it could be that the Sarawak government is headed by a local party leader while in Sabah, the leader is subservient to his political masters in Putrajaya.

There are plenty of lessons to be learnt from the way the flood victims in Sabah and Sarawak are treated, compared to their counterparts in the peninsula.

Sabahans and Sarawakians alike should remember these lessons come the 14th general election and vote to oust the sitting Umno/BN federal government.